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No selection guarantees as Pay looks to fix leaky defence

Bulldogs coach Dean Pay is keeping his powder dry on whether he will make some changes to his NRL side for round three against the Wests Tigers, after two straight heavy defeats to open 2019.

After a 40-6 loss to the Warriors a week ago and a 36-16 thumping by the Eels on Sunday, that's 76 points conceded by Pay's side.

In Auckland, he blamed a poor attitude and indicated he might start to wield the axe on the squad.

On Sunday, Pay said the attitude was better - as evidenced by two tries in the opening 18 minutes to Kieran Foran and Reimis Smith which helped them to a 10-0 lead which they retained for most of the first half.

But three tries against them in an opening flurry by the Eels early in the second half, buried the Dogs in too deep a hole. It ended up a six tries to three loss.

That prompted questions on whether Pay would be sharpening the knives at the selection table before they face the Wests Tigers at Campbelltown next Sunday.

"We'll address that during the week and see where we need to be better with some of our players – see how our second grade went today," Pay said.

Match Highlights: Bulldogs v Eels

"There's a few guys putting some pressure on there."

Goal-kicking second-rower Rhyse Martin scored a try and kicked three from four for the Dogs' Canterbury Cup side against Wentworthville at Leichhardt Oval.

Fellow forward Ofahiki Ogden topped his team tackle count with 35, although the Dogs lost a tight one 24-22.

Those two, who each made their NRL debut last year, look most likely to be promoted.

But can anyone stop the points leaking? It was seven tries last week and six this week.

"We've got the youngest squad in the competition. We are a young team," Pay said.

"We're learning how to handle difficult situations and again, that's where we need to be patient with these younger players. Hopefully they'll learn on how to get better handling those situations."

In an effort to change things up, Pay dropped regular hooker Michael Lichaa to the bench and started Jeremy Marshall-King.

"I just thought Jeremy needed a start. He's a fairly good defender Jez, so we wanted to start that way – really hard. That was the thinking behind that," Pay said.

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